Ampatuan dead: Maguindanao Massacre suspect Andal Sr. dies

Andal Ampatuan Sr. is dead. The alleged mastermind of the Maguindanao Massacre, who had been comatose since Monday, died Friday night, July 17.

He was 74.

"It saddens me to inform the public that former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. has passed away just a few minutes ago," lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said in a statement. "Details regarding the death are sketchy at the moment."

Ampatuan's death "will be treated in accordance with Islamic custom," he added. "The family is requesting for privacy in their moment of bereavement."

According to Topacio, doctors at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute will announce time and cause of death.

Bai Mayan Sinsuat, who is an in-law of the Ampatuan patriarch, also confirmed his passing.

Ampatuan, who had been battling advanced stage liver cancer, suffered a heart attack prior to being confined at the NKTI.

Andal Sr. was one of the primary suspects in the Maguindanao Massacre that occured on the morning of November 23, 2009, in the town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao province.

The 58 victims were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy for Esmael Mangudadatu, then vice mayor of Buluan who challenged Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. in the 2010 Maguindanao gubernatorial election, when they were kidnapped and brutally killed.

Those who were killed included Mangudadatu's wife, his two sisters, lawyers, aides, 34 journalists and some motorists who were witnesses or mistakenly identified as part of the convoy.

What will happen to the case now that Andal Ampatuan Sr. is dead?

Source: GMA News, Wikipedia